Sunday, November 09, 2008

Universal Service

According to this November 6, 2008 article in the Examiner, the following appears in The Plan: Big Ideas for America, a book Rahm Emanuel coauthored:
It's time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, All Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service. ...

Here's how it would work. Young people will know that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They'll be asked to report for three months of basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear or conventional attack; how to assist others in an evacuation; how to respond when a levee breaks or we're hit by a natural disaster. These young people will be available to address their communities' most pressing needs.
Community, community, community!

According to the same article in the Examiner,
Emanuel and co-author Bruce Reed insist "this is not a draft," but go on to write of young men and women, "the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service." They also warn, "[s]ome Republicans will squeal about individual freedom," ruling out any likelihood that they would let people opt out of universal citizen service.
Of course, as White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel himself cannot put into place such a plan of universal service. But his position on this topic is indicative of one direction the upcoming administration might take. Moreover, Obama has stated his support of fifty hours of government-approved service as a federal requirement for earning a high school diploma.

We also have the following video snippet of Obama:

Age is no barrier! All of us can serve the community! From this page at
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
Service or slavery? You decide.

Addendum, the short version (Thanks, Warren!):


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posted by Always On Watch @ 11/09/2008 02:00:00 PM